Summary: A delicious way to preserve the best of the season, this jam is summer in a jar. It's beautiful, simple, pectin-free, and come winter, you'll be glad to have made extras.
I adapted this from a recipe in Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain cookbook.
Feel free to alter the amount of apricots to peaches but keep the amount of fruit (3¼ pounds) the same.
Yield: 4-5 half-pints
- 2 pounds fresh apricots, pitted but not peeled, chopped (roughly 5 cups)
- 1¼ pound fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped (roughly 2¼ cups)
- 1¾ cup sugar, perhaps a tad more, depending on how sweet you like your jam
- ¾ - 1 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Prepare your waterbath canning pot by filling it about three-quarters with water and placing it over high heat. It always takes a while to bring this much water to a good boil, so make this a definite Step 1. Place 4-5 half-pint jars, their bands, and new lids nearby; when your water is boiling, you can sterilize the jars.
In a non-reactive pot over medium heat, put the apricots, peaches and sugar. Stir consistently until the sugar melts, about 5 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium-high, and stir/cook until the fruit starts falling apart and you've got a good amount of juice surrounding it.
The jam should start thickening at about 15 minutes; at that point, stir in the almond extract and measure the temperature of the jam. This jam should hover somewhere between 212-214° when it's done.
You can also use the wooden spoon test: does the jam sheet off the back like rain, or does it come together before dripping off in one stream? The latter will tell you that it’s done.
Taste the jam- would you like it to be sweeter? Have a more pronounced almond undertone? Adjust accordingly.
When your jam is ready, ladle it carefully into your sterilized jars, slide a thin knife, chopstick or the like along the inside edges of the jar to let any air bubbles in the jam escape, screw on the lids and bands and process for 12 minutes.